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African men finish first at Athletics World Cup in Spain - 2002-09-23

African track and field fans had plenty to cheer about at the 9th IAAF World Cup in Athletics in Madrid, Spain. Africa celebrated its fourth consecutive victory in the men's team category in Madrid. The African men finished in first place at the two-day meet, with a total of 134 points. The United States was second, with 119 points, and a squad representing Europe was third with 115 points.

Athletes from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa all won men's events. In the 100-meter dash, Nigeria's Uchenna Emedolu was the winner, clocking a personal best 10.06 seconds. Two Kenyan runners also scored World Cup victories. Bernard Lagat won the 1500-meter race, in 3:31.20 seconds, while Wilson Boit Kipketer took top honors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase event, with a time of 8:25.34 seconds. South Africa's Okkert Brits won the pole vault, clearing 5.75 meters.

In women's action in Madrid, Africa finished fifth overall in the women's team category. Russia was the winner, with 126 points, followed by Europe, with 123 points, and the Americas, with 110 points. The United States was fourth, with 105 points, and the African women had 99 points.

Four African women took home World Cup titles. Olympic and world champion Maria "The Maputo Express" Mutola of Mozambique won the 800-meters in 1:58.60 seconds. Maria is having an outstanding season, with earlier titles at the Commonwealth Games in England and the African Championships in Tunisia.

World champion Hestrie Cloete of South Africa won the women's high jump, with a leap of 2.02 meters. Berhane Adere of Ethiopia was victorious in the 3,000 meters race, clocking just under 8 minutes, 51 seconds. And African champion Francoise Mbango Etone of Cameroon added a World Cup title to her resume this season. She won the triple jump with a leap of 14 meters, 37 centimeters.

All eight African winners in Madrid earned first-place prizes of $30,000.